I’m a big fan of the We Were Here series, with the first three games being some of my favourite co-op experiences. They’ve shown clear improvements across each new entry too, so I’ve been excited to see just how good the latest release, We Were Here Forever, would be. After launching on PC last year, it has now made its way to consoles, giving PlayStation and Xbox gamers the opportunity to escape Castle Rock once more.
Check out some screenshots down below:
For those unfamiliar with the series, We Were Here Forever is a co-op puzzler where two players have to work together to solve a series of tricky enigmas. Sometimes, you’ll both be right next to each other and interacting with items in different ways, whilst other times you’ll be spread apart and having to share the information in front of you in order to progress. Either way, you’ll always have your walkie-talkie handy, with a button press allowing you to chat to each other when you need to communicate.
There is an overarching narrative involving a sinister jester going on behind the scenes, but it plays second fiddle to all of the puzzling action. Whilst players who’ve played the previous games before might appreciate that some story details have carried over, I don’t think it was ever all that memorable to begin with. That being said, it is more fleshed out this time around and it did add some intrigue to the later hours of the game, whilst the fact that you’re playing as those co-op partners who got left behind in previous games felt like a fun touch too. I just wouldn’t say that I really felt gripped in by the storytelling.
But that’s fine, especially since the puzzling is so damn good. We Were Here Forever brings more intricate and clever puzzle design than any other entry in the series, with a good variety on offer that’ll challenge players to think outside of the box to solve. Sometimes you’ll need to have a good memory, sometimes you’ll need good reactions, whilst other times you’ll just need to think logically; each conundrum challenges players in different ways, but always feel rewarding to solve.
“You’d have thought that the co-op puzzling concept of the series might have gotten a bit old by the fourth entry, but it actually feels better than ever.”
Communication is more important than ever in-game, with players really having to put their heads together to get through each puzzle. There were a few times when my partner and I were clueless when playing, only to realise we were omitting one seemingly insignificant detail that was actually super important. Other times, there were a few red herrings that threw us off, with one example coming in an early puzzle that involved lifts where my partner was giving me the wrong information to input on a series of switches – even though it SEEMED to be the solution. It wasn’t, the solution was actually in a different part of the area, but it shows why every detail is important and that communication is key to your success. There are plenty of occasions where things like this might hinder your progress, but working through the puzzle and making sure you share every little detail is all part of the fun.
That being said, there were some puzzles in We Were Here Forever that were a bit annoying to solve. Some are just unnecessarily obtuse or go on a lot longer than they need to, whilst others just weren’t fun. My least favourite came early on when my partner and I had to hit coloured switches to open up pathways back and forth whilst relying on each other to provide directions, which doesn’t sound too bad, but in practice just got irritating fast. Whilst I was a big fan of We Were Here Forever, some of the most frustrating puzzles stood out more – something which is probably owed to its longer length, with the experience easily lasting over ten hours (or longer if you find yourself especially stumped).
Thankfully, there’s a lot more good than bad, with those dud puzzles few and far between. For the most part, the puzzling is sublime, with the rewarding sense of satisfaction when putting the pieces together and getting through an enigma always bringing celebrations across our walkie-talkies. It’s a genuinely meaty adventure too, and, as mentioned, whilst that longer length did mean that I came across some puzzles that didn’t always gel with me, it also meant there were also plenty more puzzles to come across that I genuinely loved solving.
Check out some screenshots down below:
The world is also bigger than before, with Castle Rock expanding in scale and giving players more areas to explore. We Were Here Forever offers way more variety and detail in its visuals, with it easily standing out as the most attractive entry in the series so far. Sure, there were some locales that could get a little samey, but there were also plenty of impressive sights to be seen that helped bring the ever-eerie Castle Rock to life (and that also tied into the puzzling).
It’s hard to talk about what makes We Were Here Forever so good, because I don’t want to spoil any of the puzzling aspects of the game. Its greatest strengths lie in the ingenuity of its blend of puzzles and communicating with your partner as to how you can solve them, with developer Total Mayhem Games taking everything they’ve learnt from the previous entries in the series to ensure everything here is tightly designed and satisfying. It’s just really, REALLY good co-op design and still stands out as one of the best and more unique multiplayer experiences I’ve had. You’d have thought that the co-op puzzling concept of the series might have gotten a bit old by the fourth entry, but it actually feels better than ever.
We Were Here Forever Review
We Were Here Forever offers another gripping co-op puzzle adventure that is more varied, clever, and prettier than the releases that came before it. The vast majority of the puzzling feels rewarding to solve thanks to the unique variety of enigmas on offer, whilst the need for proper communication is more important than ever before. When you do finally put the pieces together of a puzzle with your partner though? It’s super rewarding.
There were some puzzles that were bit annoying, whilst some areas of the game felt a little bit drawn out thanks to the longer length. Thankfully, these issues don’t stop We Were Here Forever from being a ton of fun to play, with the series going from strength to strength with each subsequent release.
Developer: Total Mayhem Games
Publisher: Total Mayhem Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC